Baby Bee had a very rough day at school yesterday. For whatever reason, he was mad at the world and the littlest thing set him into a huge meltdown. Complete with blood-curdling screams, SWEARING, and disrespectful words to both his teacher and his mama. So as a consequence he lost every toy except books and puzzles, T.V. and movie privileges for yesterday and today, and a long list of chores to earn back some toys. So today, instead of enjoying the lovely spring day on the golf course with C, Baby Bee and I are at home checking things off our chore list. But as much as this is a lesson in consequences for him, it’s also a lesson in patience for me. Having a four year old “help” with chores is literally the most nerve-wracking, tongue-biting, deep-breathing thing on the planet.
Instead of stacking the tupperware neatly with like sized containers, he just shoved. Instead of nice back and forth motions with the mop, he zig and zagged and flopped and even tried to mop the ceiling. Why? God only knows. He was so eager to help and actually enjoyed the chores that were supposed to be punishment. But my not so inner control freak was…well freaking out. I’ve been sick for about 4 weeks in a row, so I’m already cranky and have very little patience left. Add to that the fact that I’m missing out on a fun sun-soaked day because my child lost his ever-lovin’ mind at school and I’m still trying to be firm and let him know he’s in trouble but he keeps being so sweet and cute and DAMMIT I’M READY TO START DRINKING BECAUSE THAT’S NOT HOW WE PUT CLOTHES IN OUR DRESSER!!!!!
This child. I don’t know how to handle him most days. He leads me to the edge of my sanity and right before I’m about to jump off in despair, he grabs my hand and does something so sweet and hysterical that I snap out of it and back away from the edge. I have never been so in love, so mad, so exhausted, so in awe and so utterly at a fucking loss than I have been while raising this wild man for the past 4 1/2 years. Every day brings about a hundred different emotions and at least one “what the fuck?” muttered, thought, or sometimes yelled into a pillow or the shower.
Take yesterday for instance. He got up without much complaint, ate breakfast and got ready for school without a single fuss. The drop off went okay and then about an hour later…shit hit the fan. The rest of the morning was him screaming, swearing and losing his shit over one thing and another. After being pulled into the office and calmed down, he came back to my class (where I was crying and cleaning up the lunch mess from 8 toddlers) with the sweetest grin and gave me a big hug. Like he hadn’t just been screaming profanities so fiercely his eye was twitching. Like I hadn’t been questioning my parenting skills and every decision I had ever made in the past 5 years. The rest of the afternoon went fine until we got home and he realized all of his toys were being taken out of his room. Then another meltdown ensued while I drank a beer on the deck trying to not meltdown myself. C came home, talked to G and we started dinner. Since Baby Bee was told to stay in his room all night, I poked my head in to check on him. There he was, sitting butt ass naked in the middle of his room working on puzzles. Happy as a damn clam. He ate dinner quietly, but still made silly faces at me trying desperately to get attention. He returned to his room to clean up and get pajamas on. He came running out with a t-shirt as pants and pants as a hat and said “look mama I’m an elf!”
How can you go from a complete and utter demon child to the most hysterical and cheekiest little person in a day?! Hell, sometimes it’s within an hour. I have a baby Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde on my hands, I think. Or maybe just a little boy with a big heart, smart brain and too big feels in his tiny, energetic body. Honestly, I have no idea. But I DO know that this parenthood gig is a crazy roller coaster ride that I am never prepared for. I prefer calm, smooth seas but my child is a raging typhoon. Every day is a lesson in patience and letting go for me. I just need to remember to breathe, and pick my battles. But have you ever watched a four year old sweep!? Oh the agony.